Beer and Politics

I saw a post yesterday encouraging liberals to drink bleach. It was, no doubt, a response to multiple other posts encouraging conservatives to inject themselves with Lysol. I understand the context and the events leading up to those specific posts. I understand satire and sarcasm. AND I think this behavior — whether it was creating memes like this, sharing them, or liking them — is 100% not useful and very harmful to We the People.

These days I find myself moderately left on the political spectrum. That does not mean I will defend any and all leftist views, no matter what. That does not mean that anyone to the right of me is my enemy. That means, based on my 35 years experience of life as a white female in the state of Wyoming with the parents, education, social networks, interests, money, and opportunities I have had, this is how I see the world. And that’s. it. I don’t get to tell anyone else how to see the world. I am an authority on my life and no one else’s. And that’s what we seem to have forgotten.

Those people on the other “side” of the spectrum from you (the ones you joke about injecting with Lysol)… Don’t you think they love their children and want the best for them? Don’t you think they, too, are struggling to find their sense of right and wrong? That they worry about the security of their job and where their next paycheck is coming from? That they hold their sweetheart at night and dare to dream about their future? That they love the outdoors and respect nature? That they have moments of major fear and doubt about the government and those “in charge” of us all? Remembering these things — the things we all share — is how we win.

I know people with completely opposite views than I who would give me the shirt off their back if I needed it. They are fun, funny, intelligent, good-hearted people who I am proud to know. I hope they would feel the same about me, our political views aside.

So what is the solution? Never talk politics? No. Talking politics is important. Finding consensus is necessary. It is how we will heal. BUT we need to change the way we talk politics, or we will be too guarded and defensive to ever find a consensus. We should still feel fired up about what’s meaningful to us. But there is a difference between heated and hateful. There is a difference between passionate and nasty.

We don’t need to agree on everything. In fact we shouldn’t. BUT, can we share our views without being rude? Can we listen to someone else’s views without assuming they’re ignorant? Can we, even for a moment, curiously entertain the thought that someone else may know better than us what could be a better agenda? Can we simply move on with our lives with no response when we see a meme/post/article designed to trigger us? (Yes, designed by companies who are paid to do just that. Can we recognize that as fire starting material and ignore it?) 

Those are big asks, I’m aware. I know what it feels like to be scrolling and see something so misinterpreted/misconstrued/or downright made up that it turns my face red and elevates my heart rate and gets me yelling and cussing at the ceiling. (I’m sure it’s entertaining for my boyfriend.)

I would love for us to recognize that Americans are stuck in a vicious cycle right now:

Get mad >> Find “evidence” to back up our opinion >> Rant and rave >> Get triggered by responses >> Get more mad and more evidence to make ourselves right >>>>>>>>>

This happens on both sides, to all parties, no matter who you are. We’re forgetting that while we’re all busy arguing and fighting, the actual decision-makers sit on their hill doing what they please. As it is right now, we’ve been successfully divided and conquered, our voice diminished. And we feel it. No wonder all this frustration is bubbling out of us constantly. My belief is it’s misguided. Let’s be frustrated with a system that is not working. Let’s be frustrated with how hard it is to be heard. Let’s be frustrated with how badly we have been sucking at loving our multi-opinionated neighbors. THAT frustration could be useful.

I want to believe that we are capable of rising above and having mature, empathetic conversations that will actually move us forward. But it starts with quitting the addiction to bickering and quitting the addiction to being right. (I’m saying this to myself as much as to anyone else out there.)

I hope we can do it friends. We all have to share this big planet, so I think it would behoove us to find a better way to resolve our differences. Let’s discuss. 💜

P.S. This may or may not be relevant information, but I was half a beer in when I started writing this post and just completed both. Cheers.

The Body Talks

Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 2

I have always felt invincible health-wise. Never suffered with illness, never broken a bone, never had any chronic conditions. Until recently.

It didn’t all happen at once, but very gradually. Over the course of six years I slid from being (what I thought was) a fit, productive, healthy human into feeling like a half-functioning zombie.

It started with weight gain. 20 extra pounds, seemingly out of nowhere. I hadn’t changed up my food or exercise routine, yet it came on quickly and wouldn’t budge.

Then a rash on my hands. Patches of eczema that I assumed were from giving massages all day and washing my hands more than the average human.

Then menstrual cramps. Some days so bad I couldn’t stand up. Sometimes making me miss work. Sometimes causing me to pass out from the pain.

Then mood disorders. Feeling hopeless, helpless, useless. Wondering what the point of it all is. Avoiding friends. Panic attacks. Feeling like everything I cared about could be lost in a moment.

Then exhaustion. Sleeping 10, 11, 12 hours a night and still struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. An ever-present sensation that I had invisible cement blocks tied to my arms and legs. Barely enough energy to go to work, and that was it.

I ignored each new symptom for a while. When they got so prevalent I couldn’t ignore them, I used punishment to try and cure myself. Harder workouts, tighter diet, rigorous schedule, negative self-talk. I resisted calling a doctor because a) I don’t have a whole lot of trust in them, b) I didn’t want to be labeled with a diagnosis, c) I wanted to believe I could fix myself on my own. Ha.

Finally one day, I waved my white flag. I was doubled over on the floor in pain, waiting for the four ibuprofen I had just taken to kick in, praying they would do so before I had to be at work.

At that pathetic moment, I decided I couldn’t live like that anymore and some medical help might be useful. I agreed to see a doctor, but stipulated it would have to be someone who truly listened to me and who wasn’t looking to mask any symptoms without finding the root cause of them. Enter, Functional Medicine. Functional medicine practitioners are different in that they really work to get the whole picture of a person’s health before diagnosing and prescribing. (You can find one for yourself in this directory.)

I was willing to travel to the next state to find this type of care and I’m glad I did. My first appointment was lengthy. My new doctor asked lots of questions and listened intently to my answers. Then she sent me away for lab work, testing not just a few things, but EVERYTHING.

A while later, the diagnoses landed. Hard. 

Adrenal fatigue. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Endometriosis. Disthymic Disorder. Anxiety. …All autoimmune disorders stemming from PTSD. 

What? PTSD? Me? I’ve never been to war. I’ve never been in a bad accident. What PTSD?

Well the causes of my PTSD could be multiple other blog posts, but in summary, it came from growing up with an abusive parent, as well as trauma surrounding my love life later on. Not to mention self-abuse in the form of eating disorders, exercise as punishment, and too little sleep. My nervous system was on high alert and had been for years. It couldn’t keep up with me anymore.

A few months later, I am feeling much better. I am on an intense (and expensive) vitamin/supplement regime. Meditating and working with a counselor. Easing very slowly back into working out after taking some time off to do yoga and walks only. Also joined the gluten-free club. 🤓 I am not on any medications at this point, although I wouldn’t be opposed to them anymore if I ever needed them. I trust my new doctor, because everything she has suggested has helped thus far. 

Over the past several years, as I felt my health and vigor declining, I had many moments of anger at my own body. It felt so unfair, like I was being betrayed by her. I had all these grand plans for life and it felt like she didn’t want me to enjoy anything. Then one day, my beautiful, intuitive doctor said something profound. “Honey, you are so in touch with your body. If you hadn’t felt so crappy and called me, then 5 or 10 years from now, you would have been coming in with something much worse. Lupus, MS, cancer, I don’t know for sure, but it would have been bad.”

Wow. This whole time, I was trying to be tough and muscle through, but my body was signaling me. She was talking to me. She tried to be gentle at first, but I wouldn’t listen so she did what she had to do to get my attention. She is on my team. And my sensitivity is a gift. All this pain, all the exhaustion… I was being led in a different direction. To rest, to go inward, to heal what had been broken years ago, to truly care for myself.

I can’t help but think that this is what is happening with our whole planet right now. I hope we can sit with the discomfort of not being busy. That we can go inward and reflect on what we need to heal in ourselves, in each other, and on Earth. My body asked me to  slow down a few months before everyone else did, so I feel like an old pro at the self-care thing right now. This is a gift.

I’ll close again with the loving-kindness meditation, which has become my mantra these past few days:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. 

Read Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 1 HERE 

Loving After Heartbreak

Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 1

I live with a man now. A kind, hard-working, smart, hilarious dreamer. Is it a coincidence that I pretty much stopped blogging as soon as we got serious? Absolutely not. I wish I could say that is because we have been too busy having hot sex and saving the world together. (Although there has been a lot of the first and we’re truly working on the second.) But that’s not why I stopped writing. 

I stopped writing because he shook. my. world. 

See, I was GOOD you guys. I was so, so good. Livin’ the single gal’s dream. Picked up the pieces after my divorce. Picked up more pieces after dating and sex and various short-term post-divorce relationships didn’t go so well. 🥴

I was working out daily, journaling, blogging, socializing, leading workshops, getting my finances in order, traveling, running my little business, learning to love myself, and was just — GOOD.


A perfectly imperfect man showed up to love me UP CLOSE. He was ready to go all in. It was confusing and terrifying. If you’ve ever had to start over in a relationship after getting your heart broken mashed shattered puree’d wrecked, you feel hard what I’m about to describe. Because I wasn’t actually GOOD. 

As soon as I thought about dipping my toe in the River of Starting to Love Again, everything from my past I’d worked so hard to bury came screaming back to the surface. Insecurity, lies, memories, manipulation, guilt, shame, hurt — ohhhhh the hurt. There it all was, not just for me to face but for another person to witness up close and personal. 

Um. Fuck.

The collage of fear going through my brain at that time is hard to put into words, but I’ll give it a try. Imagine a non-stop loop of the following:

“He is amazing but it’s too good to be true.”

“There has got to be a lie here somewhere.”

“I don’t know how to do this the right way.”

“I just realized I have no idea how to communicate my feelings.”

“I know. I’ll get some Mace.” (I actually did, btw.)

I was sitting on pins and needles waiting not just for him to hurt me, but for me to hurt him. I trusted no one, not even myself. And I tried everything to get him to break. I gave him the silent treatment. I acted disinterested. I sat him down and told him every horrible thing I’d ever done. 

A man less persistent would have left early on. I’m glad he didn’t. He was patient and kind. Let me cry. Let me rage. Let me accuse him of things he didn’t do. Let me rip into him for tiny issues. Let me verbally process my past. Let me feel every damn emotion I had ever been ashamed of. It was messy. I was messy. It shook me to my core.

And it was medicine, pure medicine, to be witnessed 100% naked, for the first time ever. He saw all of me and didn’t want to change a thing.

Woah. Is this love? Yes, Sweetheart. This is Love.

“Why do you even want to be with me???” I would question. But the truth is, that is none of my business. He wants to be with me. He’s proved it over and over and over again. Who am I to ask why?

Now, I converse with so many people who have had their hearts broken and who have broken someone else’s heart (two sides of the same painful coin, I’ve learned). They are scared to move on. They are scared to lose control. They are scared to be seen. They are scared they won’t notice red flags. They are scared they will see red flags when there aren’t any. 

All I can say is I was scared too. And a lot of those things I was scared of happened. And because the things happened, I learned. I learned to trust again. I learned what “yes” and “no” feel like in my body. I learned that I can look into a lover’s eyes and see the truth. I learned that I am worthy. I learned that you can’t plan out your love life step by step. I learned that avoiding pain is missing out on pleasure too.

Now if you’re wondering how on earth I found a man like that, rest easy. I didn’t actually do anything to go find him. I mostly nerded out by myself reading personal development books and going to the gym. I was doing my thing, and when it was time for us to meet, we met.

So there you have it. It feels good to be putting this all out here on the blog. I haven’t written in a long time as a service to myself. I’ve been learning to love — not even again — Learning to love for the first time. Without fear, without justification, without conditions. And I just couldn’t write about it all “out loud.” Just like you don’t serve a cake that’s half-baked, I don’t like to put things out in the world while they’re still processing. Stuff that is unprocessed is very tender and it’s too easy for tender things to get broken again.

Thank you for being here. I look forward to writing more with this gift of time.

My prayer for all of the planet right now, borrowed from The Loving-Kindness Meditation:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.

Stay tuned for Bitch Slaps of Kindness, Part 2 😁